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Meet Bill
DVD disk
08.01.2008 By: Mathew Plale
Meet Bill order
Director:
Bernie Goldmann, Melisa Wallack

Actors:
Aaron Eckhart
Elizabeth Banks
Logan Lerman

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A down-on-his-luck banker (Eckhart) decides to turn his life around with the help of a high school student (Lerman).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Go into the video store and ask for “something like American Beauty but not as clever and with a happier ending, but still something with flagrant symbolism” and the clerk may hand you Meet Bill.

Bill (Aaron Eckhart) is a ne’er-do-well. His gut sags past his belt line, his job is unfulfilling (and existent only through his father-in-law), and his wife (Elizabeth Banks) is cheating on him with a TV news reporter (Timothy Olyphant) who dies his hair—worse yet, his name is Chip. But Bill has dreams—well, a dream: to open a donut shop in downtown St. Louis. What better way to face a midlife crisis?

Enter The Kid (Logan Lerman), who clings to Bill’s leg as a part of his school’s peer mentoring program. The Kid’s role, it seems, is to bag a hot lingerie salesgirl (Jessica Alba) and introduce Bill to some revelatory pot that will turn his life 180° (thank God the music supervisor couldn’t afford ‘American Woman’).

As Bill fumbles through his muck, so does the movie. The script, by Melisa Wallack, is amateur and unfunny and half the cast deserves better than what she’s written. Maybe not Elizabeth Banks, who borrows quirks from Parker Posey here, but certainly Aaron Eckhart. He’s at a point now in his career where he can’t be willing to star in crap like Meet Bill and No Reservations and I hope that after this summer’s The Dark Knight, he’ll choose better roles.

Co-directors/bedmates Bernie Goldmann and Wallack’s Meet Bill never had a chance, no matter the amount of prestige behind the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s been nearly a decade since American Beauty, a coming-of-middle-age movie that drowns in its own self-aware symbolism. But even that didn’t present a metaphorical pastry.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted Scenes (14:01): There are nine here, involving happenings at Bill’s work, hunting, extended moments between Bill and his protégé, Elizabeth Bank’s ass, and more.

Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
After receiving the DVD to review and reading the synopsis on the back of the back, I wanted to declare Meet Bill as a less-pretentious American Beauty. But while it is, it also puts less effort in. You might be glad the extras are light.
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